Pastor says off-duty Kenner cop violated his rights - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Pastor says off-duty Kenner cop violated his rights

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Pastor Thomas Tucker Pastor Thomas Tucker

The Kenner Police Department is investigating a complaint that one of its officers violated a man's rights by pulling him over while the cop was off duty. Much of the incident was caught on tape.

Pastor Thomas Tucker was on Irish Bend Road in Kenner Saturday, meeting with a prospective client for his landscaping business. Tucker says a man who lived on the street, and happened to be outside weed-whacking his yard, approached Tucker's truck to tell him that he ran a stop sign 20 minutes earlier.

Tucker explains, "He said, 'You better not move.' And he didn't show me any badge or anything. I don't know who this is, I don't know what he's going to do. So I leave because I'm going to go to the front of the subdivision and call the police."

But Tucker says the man hopped into his car, an unmarked unit equipped with a light and siren, and pulled him over. This is when the pastor's friend began recording video on her cell phone.

In the first portion of the video, Tucker can be heard saying to the man, "You're off duty. I don't know, did you show me an identification?".

The man replied, "I told you I was a cop."

Tucker said, "I don't care. I could tell you I'm the police."

And then the man said, "You didn't ask to see it."

After a few minutes, a marked Kenner squad car showed up.  A uniformed officer said to Tucker, "Turn around put your hands behind your back."

Tucker can be heard saying on the tape, "How are you going to arrest me for something I didn't even do?"

Tucker says officers threatened to throw him in jail if he didn't sign a ticket saying he ran a stop sign. He was never arrested, just given the ticket.

The pastor believes he was targeted in the neighborhood because of his race. "It makes me angry but it hurts me because in the past, I've stood up for people's rights. I've tried to always make right and wrong for other people. But I never felt like a victim myself. Now I know how it feels to be victimized," Tucker said.

On Monday, Tucker filed a formal complaint against the off-duty officer with the Kenner Police Department. Chief Steve Caraway says an internal investigation has been launched so he can't comment publicly on the case.

Tucker is hoping the officer gets fired.

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